A Waldorf man convicted in the May 2003 stabbings of four people was sentenced Tuesday in Charles County Circuit Court to a combined 70 years in prison, said the Charles County state's attorney.
James A. Ross Jr., 55, was convicted April 7 of four counts of first-degree assault for stabbing four people. All of the victims survived.
According to court documents, Ross went to the house of Larry Matthews on Holly Lane in Waldorf last year and stabbed Matthews repeatedly during an argument.
Ross then crossed the street and stabbed Samuel Lewis, a 79-year-old Alzheimer's patient, his caretaker, Frances A. Ford, 55, and George Williams, 53, the documents said. Authorities said that Ross was acquainted only with Matthews.
When Charles County sheriff's officers arrived at the scene, they found Ross beating Ford over the head with a flowerpot, according to court records. Ross ran at the officers with a stick, but police were able to subdue him, police said.
According to witnesses and authorities, a cigarette Ross smoked before the attacks was laced with the illegal drug PCP.
At the time, authorities and drug experts said the stabbings were an extreme example of the violence associated with PCP, or phencyclidine hydrochloride. Authorities have said use of the substance is on the rise in Southern Maryland.
PCP users like the drug for its long, intense high -- up to six hours -- and because it is not physiologically addictive.
Ross, who has been in jail since his arrest, was sentenced by Judge Amy Bragunier to serve 15 years each for stabbing Ford, Williams and Matthews and to 25 years for the attack on Lewis. The sentences will run consecutively, said Charles County State's Attorney Leonard C. Collins Jr. (D).
For the crimes of violence, Ross is ineligible for parole until he has served at least half of his sentence, Collins said.
Bragunier also ordered Ross to pay about $100,000 in restitution to all four victims, Collins said.
Ross's attorney, Richard Gummere of La Plata, declined to comment about the case.